Investec Asset Management has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Africa Business Initiative to produce a report highlighting the ways that foreign investment can be promoted in the Africa region.
“Africa and the United States: A defining relationship of the 21st century” examines the ways that engagement between the two countries can grow and deepen, and highlights the importance of international investors partnering with local businesses to succeed.
The report also focuses on the need to understand that Africa is made up of dynamic and individual markets.
“To date, we’ve yet to see broad, high level investment from U.S. companies in Africa, and that is largely due to unknown or perceived risks,” said Myron Brilliant, U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive vice president and head of international affairs, in a news release by Investec. “The best way to deal with that challenge is for U.S. companies already on the ground in Africa to share their institutional knowledge — the stories of their challenges and how they were able to succeed. If those misconceptions and fears remain, the U.S. business community will miss out on a major opportunity to tap into the rapidly expanding economies in Africa.”
The report includes interviews with business executives who have invested in the region, as well as policy experts. It also examines government and private-sector programs that are designed to improve Africa as an investment destination.
In a presentation held at a Presidential Plenary promoting the future relationship between the U.S. and Africa, Hendrik du Toit, CEO of Investec Asset Management, said: “(This report) will make your life easier when you think about getting involved in Africa. We collaborated on not producing a report by yet another financial firm that puts a lot of numbers together and dazzles you with statistics you already know … it does highlight some of the challenges. But every country is a challenge if it is not your home country to operate in. I can say this as a significant investor in the U.S. — it is equally difficult operating in another country … it takes time to get to know a new place and it shouldn’t be written off.”
He added that it is in the U.S.’s interest to engage more widely with Africa, “and it is in all 54 countries in Africa to engage with the largest, most economic system in the world.”
The report is available on Investec’s website.